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Gerrymandering/Redistricting

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Daily Beast: NAACP Says Racist Redistricting Aims to Silence Black Voters in North Carolina

The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, Common Cause North Carolina—an organization to protect voting rights, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, filed the lawsuit accusing North Carolina’s state Senate, House, and board of elections of discriminatory gerrymandering. “In 2023, the North Carolina General Assembly redrew its state legislative and congressional plans to severely diminish the voting power of North Carolina’s Black voters,” the lawsuit stated. “The General Assembly achieved this by intentionally dismantling existing and longstanding Black opportunity districts and diluting Black voting power.” The lawsuit claims Black voters were purposefully targeted throughout the state, violating the Voting Rights Act and 14th and 15th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Detroit News: Redistricting commission will 'consider its options' after federal judges ordered a redraw

Common Cause Michigan welcomed the judges' decision, but urged that the commissioners be allowed to redraw the maps. "We're glad to see all voices protected in our democratic process, especially Black Michiganders who have often been intentionally left out," Common Cause Michigan Executive Director Quentin Turner said in a Friday statement. "Despite the redraw, we believe independent commissions, and not legislators, are the best way to achieve fair maps. The voters should always be able to choose their elected leaders — not the other way around."

Yahoo! News/The Hill: Lobbying World

Virginia Kase Solomón will be the next president and CEO of Common Cause. Currently CEO of the League of Women Voters, she will start her new role in February and will be the first Hispanic person to lead the democratic watchdog. She succeeds Karen Hobert Flynn, who died this spring after three decades with the organization.

Associated PressPBS: North Carolina’s election maps for 2024 are racially biased, advocates say in lawsuit

North Carolina voting-rights advocates sued Tuesday to overturn all of the redistricting plans drawn by Republicans and being used starting with the 2024 elections, saying legislative leaders unlawfully weakened the electoral influence of Black voters. The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, Common Cause and eight Black residents filed a lawsuit in federal court. They accuse GOP legislative leaders of intentionally moving this fall boundary lines for General Assembly and congressional districts in part so that many Black voters will be prevented from having the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates. Instead, the plaintiffs contend, Black voting blocs are submerged into districts with white majorities that don't normally vote for Black candidates. For decades, Black residents have overwhelmingly favored Democratic candidates. "The General Assembly targeted predominantly Black voting precincts with surgical precision throughout the state in drawing and enacting the 2023 Plans, at the expense of traditional redistricting criteria, to achieve preferred district lines that diminish Black voters' ability to elect candidates of their choice at all levels of government," the lawsuit's authors wrote. Tuesday's lawsuit marks at least the third and most comprehensive litigation filed by voters since the Republican-dominated General Assembly enacted new maps in October for its own districts and for North Carolina's congressional delegation that are designed to boost GOP clout for years to come.

WGCU (NPR): Gulf Coast Live: Meet the new Executive Director of Common Cause Florida, a nonpartisan nonprofit that works to uphold the core values of American democracy

Common Cause Florida is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that has been working for nearly 50 years to uphold the core values of American democracy, including an open, accountable government that is of, by, and for the people. They focus on issues around voting, and ensuring that every vote counts, that every eligible voter gets their chance to have a say, and that our elections represent the will of the people. Our guest today, Amy Keith, started working for Common Cause Florida about a year and a half ago as Florida Program Director, leading the organization’s voting rights, redistricting, and accountability work, including its federal congressional redistricting case that’s still working its way through the system. As of December 1st she now serves as the organization’s Executive Director.

KUNM (NPR): Advocates for drawing fairer voting maps will try again to take the job away from NM lawmakers

Dede Feldman, former Democratic state Senator and advocate with Common Cause New Mexico, said on New Mexico in Focus that the current process is inherently partisan. “The Legislature is always going to fall into the trap of having the majority party draw the map that they like to maximize their influence,” she said.

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